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How to Identify Your Doll

Here are the steps to help you identify the name and/or manufacturer of a doll.

Difficulty Level: Medium      Time Required: Varies

Here's How:
  1. Examine the doll thoroughly.  Note size of the doll, material the doll is made of, type of eyes, hair and clothing details.
  2. Check the doll for markings.  Most doll marks are found on the back of the head, on the torso, and sometimes the feet.  All letters, numbers and symbols may be important.
  3. If the markings contain the name of a doll manufacturer, you are 1/2 way there!  Mattel, Madame Alexander, Ideal and other modern doll makers often mark dolls with their name. 
  4. If the manufacturer is not named in the mark, check doll reference books to determine who's mark it is.
  5. If you have no marks, your job will be more difficult.  You will have to search books to find your doll visually.  Having an approximate date of manufacture will help.
  6. Once you know the doll manufacturer, you can search reference books and online souces such as eBay (many doll photos!) to find your doll.  Sometimes the markings alone will tell you WHICH doll you have (such as AM 390 = Armand Marseille, Mold #390) .  Other times, photos and the characteristics that you found when you examined the doll will help you determine which doll you have.
  7. If you cannot find your doll using these methods, you can find out the manufacturer and/or name through a doll appraisal at doll shows or doll shops. Some are free, and some require a fee.  You can also find online doll appraisals for a fee, usually from $10 to $20 per doll.
  8. You can also inquire about the identity of your doll in the Dolls Forum at this site.
  1. You can find doll reference books in the Book Shop
  2. Not all dolls can be identified!  Especially difficult to identify: unmarked dolls of ANY kind, tourist dolls, less-expensive supermarket-line and drug store dolls, and dolls made in Asia  (often sold through magazine ads or general retailers) during the last 30 years.  

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